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Putumayo Presents: Paris ***
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Rossiter Drake*

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PUTUMAYO PRESENTS: Paris
(Courtesy of SFStation.com)

Just as Americans have rediscovered the minimalist thrills of '60s-style garage rock with the rise of bands like White Stripes and the Strokes, Parisians are eagerly warming to the return of chanson, the cabaret-style, lyric-driven French ballads first popularized during the 14th century by composers like Guillaume Dufay. And though Dufay didn't live to hear it -- he died in 1474 -- Paris, the latest in Putumayo's ongoing series of world-music celebrations, pays fitting tribute to his legacy. It's a winning collection of pretty, acoustic concoctions, highlighted by Thomas Fersen's droll take on "Au Café De La Paix" and Aldebert's appropriately uplifting "Carpe Diem." If swirling electric guitars and thunderous drum solos are more your style, steer clear. But for Francophiles and fans of traditional folk, Paris is a rollicking treat, featuring an impressive gang of vibrant young artists breathing new life into a vintage sound.

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